Liverpool putting their house in order before summer

The recent reports suggest that Liverpool FC are keen on further strengthening their backline after having signed Dutch international Virgil Van Dijk for £75 million in January this year. They are very keen on making a move for Dani Carvajal, the Real Madrid right-back.

He has emerged as the first choice everywhere for that particular position on the field, and has already appeared almost 200 times for the Galacticos. The attacking defender has also become a part of the Spanish national team, and his current contract runs until 2022.

Beyond the pros themselves, many people might also actually be punting on that possibility that Carvajal will join Liverpool on online betting sites like the Paddy Power football betting portal. The key to the ever-lucrative online sports betting industry is, as you may expect, all about making sure as many of the odds are in your favour as possible. And when it comes to a sport like football, where a single player could make all the difference between a smashing success and an embarrassing failure, putting your money on a win for your team can become entirely reliant on your team’s star players.

Jurgen Klopp is keenly looking forward to strengthening the right-back position of the Reds, as he prepares for a busy summer this year. This is mainly because of the ongoing injury problems surrounding Nathaniel Clyne. Owing to that, Klopp has had to resort to calling upon the young pair of Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Carvajal hails from Leganes and has been in Madrid for quite some time after becoming the first-team regular, so the deal seems like a little way off right now. He joined Madrid from Bayer Leverkusen in 2013 after one season in the Bundesliga.

The chase for Emre Can

In terms of one potential outgoing, Juventus need to wait until the summer to figure out if they have successfully managed to tempt Emre Can from Liverpool to Turin. The midfielder is out of contract this summer and everyone is expecting him to join Juventus on a free transfer. Some reports have suggested that the Reds are contemplating an extension, but Can has been insisting on a release clause, which is proving to be a roadblock in the deal.

Reports suggested the 24-year old midfielder already signed a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club in January, but is nevertheless keeping his options open.

Talking to the press Emre Can said: “Of course I have to think about my footballing future. I haven’t signed for any other club, I’m just focused on this season.

“We want to finish in second place in the Premier League, we’re in the Champions League quarter-finals and we want to progress. That’s all I’m focused on now. My agent has blocked all the negotiations, I’m thinking only of football.”

Can has so far scored 14 goals in his 162 appearances since joining Liverpool in 2014.

Embed from Getty Images

Incoming Thomas Lemar?

Going by the French press, Liverpool could be all set to finalise a highly important transfer of midfielder Thomas Lemar. Le10Sport, a France-based popular sports portal reported that the 22-year old midfielder from Monaco is expected to move to Anfield. All signs suggest that Liverpool have finally won that race.

Apparently, Monaco had been holding out and were expecting a bid in the vicinity of £88 million. As per the French publication, the deal is almost final.

Advertisements

Hazard leaving Chelsea? – Star set to go after top four failure

After a performance that has been heavily criticised by pundits, Chelsea’s loss to Manchester City has made finishing in the top four look extremely unlikely for the Blues. Champions League football is a must for attracting and keeping top players. Missing out could be a catalyst for Eden Hazard leaving Chelsea.

The Belgian is arguably one of the best players to represent the club. Since joining in the summer of 2012 he has been a key performer for Chelsea. But the possibility of him staying with the Blues for the long haul has been constantly questioned.

Hazard has made no secret of his admiration for current Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid. The temptation for any player to pull on that famous white shirt is enough to worry adoring fans that their current favourites could move at any time.

This summer seems the most likely yet that Hazard leaving Chelsea is a real possibility. Hazard is yet to pen a new deal. Now he may be looking to move on after six seasons in the capital.

When taking a look at Hazard’s Chelsea stats, his potential departure is a major concern for the club.

Is Eden Hazard leaving Chelsea?

It’s easy to see how influential Hazard is for Chelsea. He has been directly involved in 160 goals in his 287 games in all competitions. His two Premier League titles, Europa League and League Cup is an impressive haul of trophies so far.

Hazard has successfully completed 940 dribbles in the Premier League and European competitions since joining Chelsea. That is bettered by Lionel Messi (1045), but not Cristiano Ronaldo (388) or Neymar (861).

Hazard leaving Chelsea – Title defence failure

Although City have taken the league by storm this season, Chelsea’s title defence has been poor to say the least. It’s the second title defence in a row where Chelsea have not been up to the races.

For Hazard to continue his growth as a player and to be recognised as one of the elite he needs to be winning or challenging consistently for a league title every season. That is not happening for him at Chelsea, which will be increasing his frustrations.

Hazard leaving Chelsea – New challenge & Ballon d’Or

A new challenge may be on the Belgian’s mind. As mentioned, he has been with Chelsea for six seasons now. In the modern game longevity is becoming a less frequent feature of a career.

At 27, Hazard is now in his prime years and he arguably has six seasons at left in him at the very top of his game. He will want to be challenging to win the Ballon d’Or year-on-year during that time. While Messi and Ronaldo are still dominating European stats, Hazard is a name that is constantly thrown into the ring for those who are expected to hit the highest levels.

Winning the Ballon d’Or while playing in the Premier League is not a very frequent occurrence. The last time it happened was in 2001. So even with the domination of Messi and Ronaldo from 2008 onwards – it seems unlikely for anything to change any time soon.

Hazard leaving Chelsea – Champions League desire

Winning the Champions League is at the top of the list for every player in Europe. Hazard is facing the prospect of not playing in the competition for the second time in just three seasons. While Chelsea are still in the current round of the competition, they aren’t being backed by many to advance.

His desire to win the competition is natural. It’s all to apparent how difficult it is to win the Champions League while playing with the pressure of what is known as the toughest league in the world.

While doing no discredit to the strength of the remainder of Europe’s top leagues, they are seen as easier routes to having a better chance of winning the Champions League, which may be a factor in Hazard’s decision to move on.

Is Hazard leaving Chelsea this summer?

MLS debutants run riot on opening weekend

The opening weekend of MLS has set the tone for the rest of the season. There was plenty of drama with goals, video assistant referees, red cards and shock results. However, one astonishing stat that has come from week one was from MLS debutants.

A total of 26 goals were scored across the ten games with nine of those coming from debutants – which equates to 35% of the goals scored on opening weekend.

What makes it all the more impressive is that all nine goal scorers came from different clubs, adding to the excitement.

WATCH 📹 – Take a look at all nine debutant goals from week one

2018 Key Transfers: Vancouver Whitecaps

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we have been running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we finish the serie by looking at Vancouver Whitecaps and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

Key Signings

Anthony Blondell: Blondell is a 23-year-old striker hailing from Venezuela. He will be unknown to many so he will have the element of surprise on many defenders. He’ll be coming off the back of a prolific season playing for Monagas where he scored 24 goals in 39 appearances. He’s had an impressive preseason campaign with the Whitecaps and will be hoping to make a real impact.

Kei Kamara: Vancouver becomes the sixth MLS club to take on Kei Kamara. After two seasons with New England Revolution in which he scored 19 goals he makes his way north. We expect him to partner Blondell up front this year in what could prove to be a great partnership. Again, their preseason form suggests they will score plenty of goals.

Doneil Henry: After having to cope with various loan spells across Europe while with West Ham United, Henry has returned back to his native Canada with the Whitecaps in permanent move. A Toronto academy graduate defender, Henry at the ripe age of 24 already has over 20 caps for Canada and a return home will hopefully get his career back on track.

Notable Departures

David Ousted: Long standing ‘keeper Ousted has left for DC United after five seasons in Vancouver. He is expected to start in DC after the departure of Bill Hamid to Europe. Vancouver fans will be sad to see him go as he has been a stalwart and a reliable leader for them for half a decade.

Mauro Rosales: Vancouver decided to decline Rosales’ option after he only had five appearances last term. Rosales has been in MLS for the past seven seasons, after stints at Ajax and Newell’s Old Boys. The winger leaves Canada after his second stint, and the jury is still out whether he will return to MLS in a playing capacity.

Sam Adekugbe: Pacey fullback Adekugbe has left for Valerenga in Norway. A Vancouver academy graduate, Adekugbe has flirted with European football for the past few years with loan spells at Brighton and IFK Goteborg, he has finally made the permanent move to Europe.

2018 Key Transfers: Toronto FC

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we have been running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at Toronto FC and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

The MLS Cup holders have got a lot to live up to. They head into the 2018 campaign on the back of an historic treble in 2017. Greg Vanney’s side really raised the bar last season and repeating that feat again this time around is going to take a huge amount of work. There have been some exciting new players come in, while Toronto have done well to keep the core of their squad together. With little improvement needed on the face of it, this has been a winter transfer window where the aim has been to keep the squad fresh and ensure there is enough depth to challenge on all fronts once again…

Key Signings

Gregory van der Wiel: Toronto have identified where they wanted to improve on their squad depth. They’ve certainly picked up a quality defender in Gregory van der Wiel. The Dutch fullback is a winner. He has league titles with European giants Paris Saint Germain and Ajax to his name. He was also in the Dutch side that came runners up in the 2010 World Cup. This is certainly an exciting signing for Toronto and further proof they are looking to dominate.

Ager Aketxe: This is a big statement from Toronto and for MLS. Ager Aketxe might not be a household name in European football but he has made the switch from La Liga at 24. He started his career with Athletic Bilbao and spent last season on loan at Cadiz. As a creative midfielder who is known for his ability to finish, Aketxe has the potential to be a real asset to Toronto.

Auro: Another defensive addition to Toronto’s ranks. Auro comes in on loan with the option to buy from Brazilian side Sao Paulo. He has represented Brazil at U17 and U20 level. He is a good option for Toronto due to his versatility of being to play on either the left or the right.

Notable Departures

Benoit Cheyrou: The experienced Cheyrou has called time on his playing days at 36, but his story with Toronto hasn’t ended. He is now working with the TFC academy, which is a huge bonus for the future stars of MLS. Keeping him at the club in some capacity is a good move by Toronto, given he was part of their rise to the top. His career saw him play at the top level in European football and while he is going to be a miss in the dressing room as well as on the field, he will still be a part of the setup for what looks like years to come.

Steven Beitashour: Toronto moved quickly in the winter window to ensure they had cover for their departing players. Beitashour featured 22 times last season for TFC and played in 51 games across his two seasons with the side. A solid fullback who pitched in with supply from the righthand side who will no doubt be a miss. He has moved to expansion side LAFC, who have picked up a good signing.

2018 Key Transfers: San Jose Earthquakes

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we have been running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at San Jose Earthquakes and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

San Jose Earthquakes had a solid 2017 campaign, finishing 6th in the Western Conference. They fell at the first hurdle in the playoffs and have changed some personnel to give the squad a needed freshen up. Mike Stahre is looking to stamp his footprint onto his side having come in as head coach in November and he will be hoping to get off to a good start in under a week’s time.

Key Signings

Joel Qwiberg: Signed from the Swedish first division, Joel Qwiberg comes in to bolster San Jose’s defence. The left back is noted for his technical ability who can also be deployed to assist as an attacking wingback.

Magnus Eriksson: Another signing with history in Swedish football. He has a consistent goal-scoring record which will be welcomed news to Chris Wondolowski. Eriksson will be expected to relive the pressure on his fellow forward while looking to impress during his MLS debut season.

Eric Calvillo: A 20 year old who looks to have a bright future ahead of him. Eric Calvillo has represented the U.S. at U15-U19 levels and has made a name for himself as a midfielder who can be deployed in a number of roles. While he probably won’t be a regular from the get-go, he will be looking to break into the team and continue to progress.

Notable Departures

Darwin Ceren: After spending two seasons at San Jose, Darwin Ceren is on the move. He made 33 appearances and had a good sense of when the time was right to push on into the attack. His ability to cover a lot of ground will need to be replaced.

David Bingham: After spending four seasons waiting patiently for his chance to become a regular between 2011-2014, David Bingham has left for LA Galaxy. He made 91 appearances over the last three seasons but lost his starting place during the 2017 campaign. Perhaps the right time for both parties to part ways …

Victor Bernardez: Given San Jose’s defensive frailties at times last season it’s not a surprise to see changes to personnel. However, Victor Bernardez’s departure may come as a bit of a strange decision considering his regular starting place over the last six seasons. His 162 appearances prove that San Jose are losing an experienced head but now at 35 they’re looking for the long term.

Marco Ureña: After 25 appearances in his only season with San Jose, Marco Ureña has moved onto new boys Los Angeles FC as the third selection in the Expansion Draft. He scored five goals in 2017 and is known for linking up the attacking play. The Costa Rican international will be missed.

2018 Key Transfers: Portland Timbers

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we have been running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at Portland Timbers and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

The Portland Timbers enjoyed a successful 2017 campaign as they made a strong charge to finish top of the Western Conference at the end of the season. However, they were left stunned as Houston knocked them out of the Conference Semifinals on home soil. That shock was followed by the departure of head coach Caleb Porter, who was loved by everyone associated with the club. He has been replaced with Giovanni Savarese and so how the former New York Cosmos coach handles the transition will be key to how successful Portland are in 2018. Some key offseason moves have been made to try and ensure they remain at the top end of the standings.

Key Signings

Andy Polo: Portland have added another dangerous weapon to their attacking arsenal ahead of the new season as Andy Polo joins from Mexico’s CA Monarcas Morelia. The 23-year-old winger has signed on loan with the option to buy at the end of the season. He is a versatile and speedy winger, who has represented Peru 15 times already, scoring once. The Timbers will hope his addition can fill the void left by Darlington Nagbe’s departure (more on that below).

Julio Cascante: Young defender Cascante joined the Timbers at the start of January in exchange for Targeted Allocation Money. At 24 years old he has already played international football for Costa Rica and has 100 professional matches under his belt. As with Roy Miller and David Guzman, Cascante has joined from Saprissa in his native Costa Rica. He will hope to impress and force his way into the starting XI on a regular basis.

Cristhian Paredes: Paraguayan prodigy Parades has joined on loan from Club America in Liga MX. Yet to play for Club America, Parades started his young career at Sol de America in Paraguay. Similar to Cascante, Parades has already made an appearance for his country. At 19, he has a long career in front of him and a point to prove as Portland will hope he can come in and add a new dimension to their attack.

Samuel Armenteros: Swedish striker Armenteros has joined on loan from Benevento in Serie A. He is yet another international signing, as he has played twice for Sweden. The question that will be posed is can he either partner or dislodge star striker Fanendo Adi in the Timbers strikeforce?

https://twitter.com/JogaBonito_USA/status/962039045986463744

Notable Departures

Darren Mattocks: Mattocks was the 2nd overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft but his career has yet to live up to the potential that was assumed of the pacey striker. After spending the past six seasons in the Pacific Northwest with Vancouver and Portland, he is now on his way to DC United. He scored just five goals in 43 appearances for Portland.

Ben Zemanski: Zemanski joined Portland after three seasons with Chivas USA where he was a regular. Life at the Timbers was frustrating to say the least as injuries plagued his time in Portland. With only 15 starts over the last two years, Portland let his contract run out after five seasons and an MLS Cup.

Darlington Nagbe: Nagbe’s move to Atlanta was one of the major shocks of the offseason. Arguably one of the best players in the league on his day, his versatility and creative abilities would be an asset to any team. He was a huge fan favourite in Portland after joining in 2011 via the MLS SuperDraft. He joins Atlanta, with a huge $1.65 million in allocation money going the other way. Nagbe played 214 games, scored 27 goals and won one MLS Cup. Portland have lost one of their biggest stars, so it will be intriguing to see how they cope without him.

2018 Key Transfers: Philadelphia Union

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we have been running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at Philadelphia Union and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

There wasn’t really a lot for Philadelphia Union fans to shout about during in the 2017 campaign – finishing 8th in the Eastern Conference, outside of the playoffs. With that in mind it would be fair to say they could do with revamping their squad in hope of reaching the post season. They’ve signed just five players so far, while some notable players have been moved on. It’s going to require a big effort for them to force their way into a playoff spot considering how competitive the Eastern Conference is, but the squad will be ready and raring to go come the start of the season.

Key Signings

David Accam: Easily the biggest signing for Philadelphia Union during the window. David Accam comes in as a designated player from Chicago. He has an impressive MLS record in his three seasons so far, scoring 33 in 78, with a further 15 assists. His goal contribution makes him an ideal forward to help Philadelphia push in the right direction. At 27 they have picked up a player nearing the peak of his powers and the Union faithful will be hoping he can produce on their opener to give everyone a lift and positive start to the 2018 season.

Cory Burke: Firepower is what Philly have needed and this is another signing who will be hoping to make a difference. Cory Burke isn’t exactly a household name but he has international experience under his belt with Jamaica. Coming in from USL side Bethlehem Steel FC, he bagged an nine goals in 25 games last season. He will be looking to put pressure on his teammates Jay Simpson and C.J. Sapong for a starting place.

Notable Departures

Chris Pontius: Heading into his tenth MLS campaign having scored 45 goals in 215 games, Chris Pontius leaves Philly after two seasons. His experience will be missed but it seems a good time for him to be moved on as both parties look to freshen things up.

Roland Alberg: Having played 52 times for Philadelphia over two seasons Roland Alberg is on the move. He scored 16 goals and picked up four assists during his time at the club and will be a miss in the middle of the park.

2018 Key Transfers: Orlando City

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we have been running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at Orlando City and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

To say it’s been a busy winter at Orlando City would be an understatement. The club have been one of the busiest in MLS since their 2017 campaign came to an end. Plenty have gone, and plenty more have come in as the Lions prepare for a new-look team this season. The outcome appears to be positive. Jason Kreis has revamped his midfield. They started last season with six wins from seven but then completely dropped off, eventually finishing 10th in the East with 39 points. They need to be more consistent and will hope their new-look squad can fire them into the playoffs for the first time. This will be their fourth MLS campaign, so it’s time to start delivering.

Key Signings

Sacha Kljestan: The big question this winter was: ‘Who is going to replace Kaka for Orlando?’ The answer is Sacha Kljestan. The Lions made a big move for the Red Bulls star, sending Tommy Redding and Carlos Rivas the other way. In Kljestan, Orlando have acquired the league’s leading assist provider from both the 2016 and 2017 campaigns. At 32, there are some concerns about his fitness but he has played 97 regular season games over the past three seasons in New York – an average of 32 games a season. This one makes a lot of sense.

Lamine Sane: The Lions made a major move to strengthen their defence with the signing of 30-year-old Senegalese international Sane. The centre-back joins from Werder Bremen, where he scored two goals in 40 appearances. Prior to moving to Germany, he enjoyed a seven-year stay with French side Bordeaux. He will bring vital experience to Orlando and should be a great addition to the backline, so long as he can adapt quickly.

Justin Meram: The signing of Meram has to be one of the best this offseason by any MLS side. The winger is dangerous out wide or in a more central playmaking position and knows the league inside out. All seven of his professional seasons to date have been spent in Columbus but he wanted a new challenge and got his wish as Orlando made a major move for him. They sent $1.05 million in allocation money to the Crew, as well as an international roster spot. Meram has 40 goals and 35 assists in 200 league and playoff appearances and should be a really good addition.

Josue Colman: Another exciting attacking addition for Orlando comes in the form of Paraguayan winger Colman. The 19-year-old joins as a Young DP and will hope to nail down a regular starting role under Kreis in 2018. He joins the club from Cerro Porteno in Paraguay’s top flight after helping them win the Clausura title last year. He will have the right players around him to ensure he fulfils his potential in Florida.

Oriol Rosell: Orlando have signed a great accompaniment to all their attacking moves in Uri Rosell. The former Sporting Kansas City midfielder joins from Sporting CP in Portugal. A total of $400,000 was sent to FC Dallas so that Orlando could secure the No.1 spot in the league allocation order. Rosell is a tough-tackling holding midfielder, who knows the league and at 25, should be a great addition.

Notable Departures

Kaka: Undoubtedly the biggest loss for the Lions this offseason was Kaka. The Brazilian legend retired after his three-year contract with the Lions ended. He failed to lead the Lions to the playoffs as he had hoped but he was an incredibly instrumental figure in and off the pitch, helping to shape Orlando’s identity in MLS and on the world map. He was a three-time MLS All-Star and recorded 24 goals and 22 assists in 75 games.

Giles Barnes: Another attacking player to move on is Barnes. The English-born Jamaican international has joined Liga MX side Club Léon after his option was declined. He scored three goals and added two assists in 34 games last season and leaves MLS after six seasons in which he represented Houston, Vancouver and Orlando.

Antonio Nocerino: The Italian midfielder had his option declined at the end of the 2017 season after failing to ever live up to his billing. He joined from AC Milan and was expected to impress but scored just one goal in 52 games and didn’t register a single assist in two seasons.

Carlos Rivas: Rivas was sent to the Red Bulls along with Tommy Redding in exchange for Kljestan. His departure released a Designated Player slot for the Lions but his dynamic play style might be missed. He played 78 games over three seasons with Orlando, scoring eight goals and picking up 13 assists. Those numbers aren’t DP level though and that’s why he’s been allowed to move on.

Cyle Larin: Larin’s departure couldn’t have gone less smooth. The Canadian striker travelled to Turkey in January to train with Besiktas, without the consent of Orlando. He was contracted to the Lions through 2019 but decided to ignore his contract and tried to force through a move to Besiktas. He eventually got his way as Orlando accepted at least $2.3 million from the Turkish giants. But bad feelings aside, Larin led the team in goals in each of his three seasons and his presence will likely be a big miss in attack.

2018 Key Transfers: New York Red Bulls

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we will be running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at New York Red Bulls and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

The New York Red Bulls came close to shocking Toronto in the Eastern Conference Championship game last season but ultimately fell just short. It was a trend of their season. They were good, but saw several close games slip away from them. Jesse Marsch has responded by adding to his already talented squad this offseason. A couple of key faces have gone but the Red Bulls look younger and more dynamic heading into the new season. Their high pressing and intense style of play should ensure they continue to fight at the very top of the East.

Key Signings

Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra: Undoubtedly the signing of the offseason for the Red Bulls, Gamarra arrives after a long and drawn out transfer saga. But the key is, the Red Bulls have got their man. He signs as a Young Designated Player from Argentine side Huracan and will be tasked with replacing the creativity of Sacha Kljestan. At 23, the winger nicknamed “Kaku” is an exciting arrival for the league as a whole and Marsch will hope his new No. 10 can instantly adapt to his new surroundings.

Carlos Rivas: Rivas is yet to really feel settled in MLS after three frustrating years at Orlando City. He played 78 games and scored eight goals but now Rivas has the tough task of making a new-look Red Bulls team successful. After heavy losses this offseason, Rivas is an exciting spark of pace which could help add sharpness to  RBNY.

Tommy Redding: Academy product Redding has been heavily sought out since his debut for Orlando as an 18 year-old. In his three seasons for the Lions he amassed 38 matches. At the age of 21 now, Redding has the chance to move his career up a step as he should be pushing to start for the Red Bulls. He will suit the system and is another young addition to what should be a competitive squad in 2018.

Cristian Casseres Jr: To anyone but a professional scout, Casseres will be a completely unknown entity. A Venezuelan youth international, he is only 18 years old, and has only 15 professional club matches to his name. Casseres was signed as a discovery signing by the Red Bulls and could well be the next big MLS talent. One to keep an eye on…

Notable Departures

Sal Zizzo: Winger turned fullback Zizzo has joined Atlanta United after his option was declined by the Red Bulls. In his three seasons in The Big Apple he managed 72 appearances and became their starting right back. Having been in MLS since 2010, his stint in the league continues and he’s still only 30 years old.

Gideon Baah: A very disappointing end for a promising defender; Baah has been left without a club after the Red Bulls declined his option at the end of 2017. It’s upsetting for Baah as injuries have not been kind to the Ghanaian. He leaves New York with a meager nine appearances to his name and will hope to find a new challenge soon, if he can stay healthy.

Mike Grella: Perhaps one of the most underrated players in the league. Grella has left the Red Bulls for the Columbus Crew. He enjoyed three very good years for the Red Bulls in which he scored 16 times in 73 games. Injuries halted his progression last summer and the franchise have decided now is the right time to move him on. Some fans may remember him being selected by Toronto FC in the 2009 SuperDraft before rejecting them to join Leeds United in England.

Sacha Kljestan: One of the biggest shock transfers this offseason so far. For a big name and talent like Kljestan to be moved on takes some doing. The playmaker moves south to Orlando, with Rivas and Redding moving the other way (as mentioned above). At 32 years old, New York Red Bulls have definitely replaced him with fresher legs. But his quality is unquestioned and he will be a huge loss. The fact he registered 51 assists over three seasons highlights just how effective a creator he is.